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January 2013

Keep Calm and Drink a Milkshake - Mini Logo

Steak 'n Shake [ ] originated in my hometown of Bloomington, IL.  I've always been aware that their company logo looked strangely familiar to that of a small British automotive icon . . . .the Mini! 

Mini Steak n Shake
The other day, Steak 'n Shake posted the picture below on their facebook page and the connection became even MORE clear.  A brief history of the "Keep Calm and Carry On" slogan can be found here.



What other company logos do YOU think resemble the Mini/MINI logo?


Mini In The Movies (TV Series) Database

Just when you think you've seen it ALL, you come across a Web site that makes you say . . . "What a GREAT idea!"   I'm talking about The Internet Movie Cars Database.

There you'll find one of the most complete list on the web about cars, bikes, trucks and other vehicles seen in movies (and on TV), image captures and information about them.

The IMCDB allows you to search for a movie by typing a part of its title in the search box in the top right corner of the page, or select a make of automobile from a dropdown box. 

Of course I wanted to check out how Mini's were indexed.  Click here for my results.  Here's just one example of what you'll find: 

  Movie TV image w Mini
Click here for a video clip of this scene from Tommy Boy (1995) - Chris Farley & David Spade are trying to sell brake pads using the auto executive's collectible cars . . .
including a classic Mini.

 Source: Memorable Quotes

Tommy: Uh, what my associate is trying say is... Our new brake pads are really cool. You're not even gonna believe it. Like, let's say you're driving along the road with your family.

[Picks up model car]

Tommy: You're drivin' along, la-de-da, woo. All of a sudden there's a truck tire in the middle of the
road. And you hit the brakes. EEEEEEEEE! Whoa, that was close. Ha-ha. Now let's see what happens when you're driving with the "other guy's" brake pads.  You're drivin' along, you're drivin' along, the kids start shouting from the back seat, "I gotta go to the bathroom, Daddy!" "Not now, damn it!" Truck tire. EEEEEEEE! I CAN'T STOP!

[Slams model car into lighter]

Tommy: There's a cliff! AAAAAHH! And your family's screaming,

[sets car on fire]

Tommy: "Oh my God, we're burning alive!" "No! I can't feel my legs!" Here comes the meat wagon.

[Imitates siren]

Tommy: And the medic gets out and says, "Oh my God". New guy's around the corner puking
his guts out.

[Imitates retching]

Tommy: All because you want to save a couple extra pennies. And to me, it doesn't...

Executive with Toy Cars: Get out. Now!

Tommy: [Richard tries blowing out flaming car] Do you validate?

Executive with Toy Cars: No!

Solido 1:16 Scale 1964 Cooper S Monte Carlo rally car, #177

Look what came in the mail yesterday from eBay!

It's a beautiful interpretation of a 1964 Cooper S as a Monte Carlo rally car, #177. "Dirtied up" to look like it just came in off the muddy roads for a quick stop.  Solido, as most collectors know, is all about realism -- no cute tricks here like jeweled headlights. They applied considerable care to make this Mini look right given its purpose. It really stands out on the shelf.

  177 -1

Right-hand drive. Passenger doors open; engine bay or trunk do not open. :-(  Steering wheel
turns front wheels.  On top there's a spare tire carrier with 2 fresh sets ready to go. On the inside the driver's seat is Recarro (or Recarro-type; there's no identification) but the passenger/ navigator seat is the stock passenger type, a little more comfortable for the rider I suppose. This Rallye model is complete with Monte Carlo decals.

177 -6It's a beauty ... if such a thing could be said of a muddied up Mini!

Brand: Solido

Model: Cooper S Rallye

Scale: 1:16

Country of Manufacture: France

Vehicle Make: Mini Cooper

Paddy's 2010 Cars On Line Classified Ad - 1973 Austin Cooper S

This is Paddy's 2010 online classified ad.  Paddy was in Sherman Oaks, CA at the time, having been previously purchased from a Canadian owner.   In tracing back Paddy's heritage, I've been able to talk with or email one prior owner and both of the builders (Dyrk Bolger and Bill Gilcrease).  The "Stages of Tune" article below gives additional detail on Mincomp modifications to Paddy AFTER the advertised car was purchased and before it was shipped to St. Charles, IL.

1973 Austin Mini Cooper Cars On Line

Stages of Tune - Classic Mini

Mini Performance ManualHaynes Mini Performance Manual by Tim Mundy

Simply the best "must have" book for Classic Mini performance and modification info. Covers just about everything from engine mods to digital clocks. Disc brakes, steering, gearboxes, interior, suspension, body work, special editions-every mod you can think of. Haynes "Mini Perfomance" by Tim Mundy

The following excerpt helps define the various stages of performance tuning in a Classic Mini.  Paddy was elevated to the Stage 4 tune in July 2010 by Mincomp Racing in Costa Mesa, CA.

Stage 1 kits

Stage 1 kits are available from just about every Mini specialist and are a very worthwhile fitment.

The kit consists of:

  • an uprated exhaust manifold which can be either a Cooper freeflow or an LCB, depending upon the kit supplier and engine size,
  • an uprated inlet manifold, a K&N airfilter or similar,
  • plus a richer carburettor needle,
  • and a decent exhaust system which is usually a Maniflow or an RC40.

Most kits claim around a 20 per cent improvement on a 998cc engine. In a MiniWorld/Keeping Your Mini Alive (KYMA) test we managed to get 51 bhp from a 998cc Mini which was standard apart from electronic ignition using a kit from the Mini Shop. The exercise certainly backed up the claims.

Stage 2

To go from Stage 1 to Stage 2 is a case of fitting a modified head. In the case of 1,275cc engines this will probably mean retaining standard valve sizes. A carburettor needle change will usually be required too.

Stage 3

Stage 3 involves fitting a larger-valve head and uprating the carburation.

Stage 4

Stage 4 and beyond will involve a cam upgrade. This requires the engine to be removed from the car and a full engine rebuild which should include strengthening the crankshaft and balancing all rotating components.   


Book Source: - Haynes Mini Performance Manual  


Below is Paddy's 7/29/2010 Stage 4 Engine Modification Invoice

  Mincomp Racing Services Invoice